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coat of arms
Lentini (Italy)
Country Italy
region Sicily
Free community consortium Syracuse  (SR)
Local name Lintini
Coordinates 37 ° 17 ′  N , 15 ° 0 ′  E Coordinates: 37 ° 17 ′ 0 ″  N , 15 ° 0 ′ 0 ″  E
height 53  m slm
surface 215.75 km²
Residents 22,979 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density 107 inhabitants / km²
Post Code 96016
prefix 095
ISTAT number 089011
Popular name Lentinesi
Patron saint Sant'Alfio
Website Lentini
View of Lentini with Mount Etna in the background

Lentini (also Leontini , Greek Leontinoi ) is a city in the Free Community Consortium Syracuse in the region of Sicily in Italy with 22,979 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2019).

Location and dates

Lentini is located 51 km northwest of Syracuse . The residents mainly work in agriculture or industry.

The neighboring municipalities are Belpasso ( CT ), Carlentini , Catania (CT), Francofonte , Militello in Val di Catania (CT), Palagonia (CT), Ramacca (CT) and Scordia (CT).


According to a legend, the man-eating, gigantic Laistrygons , described in Homer's Odyssey , lived in this region . In ancient times the city was called Leontinoi. It was founded in 729 BC. Founded by Chalcidian colonists from the Sicilian Naxos after the expulsion of the Sikeler resident there .

Leontini is about ten kilometers from the sea, making it one of the few Greek settlements in Sicily that is not directly on the coast. The place was originally held by Sicilian residents ( Sikelern ). Because of its dominant position on a fertile plain in the north, the Greeks conquered it. Leontini was born in 498 BC. Subjugated by Hippocrates of Gela . Hieron I of Syracuse settled here in 476 BC. The inhabitants of Catana and Naxos .

Leontini later regained his independence, but in his efforts to defend it had to fall back on the support of Athens more and more frequently . Mainly because of the speech of Gorgias , the Athenians decided to go on the failed expedition of 427 BC. During the Peloponnesian War

422 BC BC Syracuse supported the city's oligarchs against the people, took them on as citizens after Leontini had been abandoned. This led to a renewed Athenian intervention, initially diplomatic, but then, when the exiles from Leontini met the ambassadors from Segesta , for the great Sicily expedition of 415 BC. Chr.

After their failure, Leontini once again became subject to Syracuse. Its independence was confirmed by the treaty of 405 BC. Between Dionysius I of Syracuse and Carthage guaranteed, but the city soon lost it again. Leontini was finally born in 214 BC. Conquered by the Romans under General Marcus Claudius Marcellus .

In Roman times, Leontini no longer seems to have played an important role. In the early Christian and Byzantine times Lentini was the seat of a bishopric, and the titular bishopric of Leontium goes back to this. The city was destroyed by the Saracens in 848, later heavily damaged by earthquakes in 1140, 1169 and 1542 respectively. Lentini was even completely destroyed in the severe earthquake of 1693. Although the city began to be rebuilt in the same place, the number of inhabitants decreased significantly in the following years and Lentini fell apart. The city has only been growing again since the beginning of the 19th century.


The excavation site

Polybios (vii. 6) describes the ancient city as lying in a depression between two hills, with a view to the north on the aforementioned fertile plain. There were two city gates, one in the direction of the plain, the other in the south in the direction of Syracuse, an acropolis on each side of the valley, and buildings extending over the flat hills.

The eastern of the two hills shows remarkable remains of a strong medieval fortress, where some authors (incorrectly) claim to have been Greek masonry.

Excavations were made in Sicilian necropolises in one of the gorges in 1899 , finds from various Greek cemeteries, especially some remarkable bronze works, are kept in Berlin.

Today the remains of ancient Leontini, in particular the city wall and the necropolis, can be seen in an archaeological zone. Finds are exhibited in the Museum of Modern Lentini.


  • Sant'Alfio Church, built at the end of the 17th century
  • Archaeological museum with finds from the area
  • Archaeological zone with the old city walls and necropolis

sons and daughters of the town


  • Cirino Gula: Storia di Leontìnoi. The origini alla conquista romana . CUECM, Catania 1995.
  • Salvatore Rizza: Studi sulle fortificazioni greche di Leontini . Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Centro di Studio sull'Archeologia Greca, Catania 2000 (Studi e materiali di archeologia greca, 7)
  • Giovanni Rizza, Massimo Frasca, Dario Palermo: Scavi nelle necropoli di Leontini (1977–1982) . Univ., Is. di Archeologia [u. a.], Catania 1991 (Cronache di archeologia, 21.1982)

Web links

Commons : Lentini  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Statistiche demografiche ISTAT. Monthly population statistics of the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica , as of December 31 of 2019.
  2. Thucydides , The Peloponnesian War 6,3,3.
  3. compare Strabon , Geographie 6, 272.